by on 25 April, 2019
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This guy knew I was a sex worker. It says so, right in my Bumble profile: retired media whore, current actual whore. He had even commented on it, using the language every woman longs to know from a romantic interest:'Haha, דירה דיסקרטיות nice ;) '. And yet I watched as his face contorted in to an expression of disgust, his upper lip curling as the reality of my profession came crashing down around him such as for instance a tonne of bricks.
"That's a lot," he said, and he then rolled to his back and stared at the ceiling. I didn't hear from him again.
It often surprises people to know that sex workers do all sorts of normal people activities, like working other jobs, studying, taking the bins out. We exist in real life after our shifts end and the red light is flicked off; we have dinner with this families and shop at K-Mart and wait on hold with our online sites providers for what feels like hours.
It's not common that the physical and emotional experiences we have at work will be enough to replace with a possible lack of intimate connection inside our lives outside of work; so many of us also date, with varied quantities of success.
A couple of months ago, I ended a connection with a man I have been seeing for דירות דיסקרטיות pretty much two years. In private, he was a huge supporter of me working, but around his colleagues and friends his tune appeared to change. He would introduce me, but hesitate in describing our relationship; when he said, "This is Kate..." the silence that hung in the area where, "...my girlfriend," should have been weighed a tonne.
I don't think that he personally had a problem with me being a sex worker, but I really do believe that the likelihood of other folks judging me – and then judging him to be with me – was enough to create him want to help keep me a secret.
So I've recently downloaded some dating apps and put myself back on the proverbial market, but it's tough. Along with the usual questions one ponders before a date (What do I wear? Where shall we go?) I find myself asking things like, "At what point do we have the talk?"
The talk in which I clarify my job, re-explain my profession in case my date didn't read my Bumble bio, forgot what it said, or – worse – thought it was a joke. Do I tell him the moment we meet, or before we say goodnight? Or do I throw it out at random on the course of the evening: "Wow, this wine is delicious. Incidentally, I'm a hooker. Pass the salt?"
The ultimate dream scenario is that my date is supportive, and happy that I've found a distinct work that I enjoy and supports me financially. Unfortunately, it has only happened once – once! – so today, I find that most responses fall somewhere between abject fascination and outright objectification.
Sometimes I end on the receiving end of a thousand rapid-fire questions ("What's the weirdest thing you've ever done at the job? Have you ever had a celebrity client? Are the inventors all old and ugly? They're not, like, normal guys like me, are they?") which surpasses horrified silence, but leaves me feeling like I've just been interviewed for an hour.
Other times, my date can barely contain their disgust, quizzing me over and דירה דיסקרטיות over again about how frequently I get my sexual health checks done and if I'm sure I'm not just a carrier of some mutant strain of gonorrhoea.
"That's all perfectly and good," one man said, over coffee, "But obviously if you sought out with me, you'd have to obtain a real job. And you couldn't tell anyone we all know that you used to work." You should probably Google me before you obtain too attached compared to that idea, I wanted to sneer.
Of course, even the crudest type of questioning is really a better case scenario than the very real threat of violence that numerous sex workers face when speaking about their job. I've friends who have been followed home and stalked by men who couldn't understand just why their date with a sex worker didn't end with a romp, and others who've had partners appear at their work in a spontaneous fit of jealousy, viciously demanding they empty their locker and return home with them immediately.
And even that's better the chance of physical violence from a romantic partner. I once proceeded a romantic date with a man who invited me as much as his bedroom, held me down as he initiated sex without a condom, and then read among my very own articles, about sex work, aloud to me as I lay silently next to him.
Dating isn't easy for anyone. Even the act of experiencing to distil your complete person directly into a quick and snappy paragraph fit for a dating app will do to produce anyone wish to purge their hands and surrender to a life of solitude.
Still, I believe in love, and I understand from past experiences that relationships – when they're good – are worth every struggle.
On the times when it's all an excessive amount of, I find myself thankful for the easy, stress-free nature of transactional sex. An hour or so on the clock and a peck on the cheek to state a fond goodbye until next time: only if finding love was as simple.
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